Scotland’s humble gastronomic beginnings are very much a thing of the past. Swapping deep-fried Mars Bars for Michelin stars, it is now a top foodie destination, home to a plethora of acclaimed fine-dining restaurants and a wealth of talented chefs working with great local ingredients.
t Food vans serving up a plethora of treats at Edinburgh Food Festival
At the end of July, the Edinburgh Food Festival takes over George Square for a week-long celebration of all that’s best in Scottish produce. With cooking demonstrations by some of the country’s top chefs, it’s the perfect place to discover the variety of traditional and contemporary flavours that Scotland has to offer.
Pop-up wild-dining experiences offer visitors the chance to try expertly curated fine food and drink (such as wild-foraged mushrooms and “wild wine”) in the most unexpected of settings, from walled castle gardens to serene woodlands.
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A summer day spent picking gooseberries, raspberries, redcurrants, blackcurrants and sweet Scottish tayberries (a unique bramble and raspberry hybrid) is great fun. Border Berries, on Rutherford Farm near Kelso, is one of the few remaining berry farms that ripens its fruit in the open air. After fruit-picking, visitors can refuel at the farm café. Visit in July to late August, when the berries are ripe and juicy.
Themed foodie trails showcase Scotland’s unique flavours, from Arbroath’s smoked haddock to the tangy, heather-infused real ales of Islay. Surprises include Scotland’s Chocolate Trail, where chocolatier Iain Burnett creates delights like salted raspberry chocolate with Szechuan pepper salt in his artisan shop.
East meets west at Glasgow’s Argyle Street Arches, where street-food vendors serve all manner of fusion snacks to tantalize your tastebuds.
DISCOVER Scotland Your Way
Scotland’s most famous dish, consisting of spiced sheep’s offal, oats and seasoning, is traditionally eaten at a Burn’s supper with “neeps” (swedes), “tatties” (potatoes) and a dram of whisky.
A mix of potatoes, onions and beef cooked in dripping (fat).
Creamy soup made from smoked haddock, milk and potato.
Haddock split open, salted and smoked.
The meat of wild red deer is dark, gamey and full-flavoured.